On Sunday, we are going through the book of Matthew. In Matthew 10, Jesus calls the disciples to Himself and gives them power which is demonstrated through authority over unclean spirits and the ability to cast them out, healing of all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. This power was the working of His spirit in the disciples. In verse 5, Jesus then sends them out. They are to be proclaimers and representatives of Christ. There are several ways that they represent and proclaim Christ in this chapter. I’ve compiled a short list and wanted to share it with you.
1. In verse 8, they are able to “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons.” These are supernatural works of healing that are made possible through the work of the Holy Spirit. These men did not operate on their own, but rather were reliant on the Spirit to lead them and use them.
2. Verses 9-15 tell us that they were to bring nothing and that they would be provided for by families along the way. Families would take in the traveling rabbi and give him food and shelter. Knowing this tradition, it would seem that it would not be hard to trust the Lord in this situation; however, given Jesus’ message that they are to proclaim it would be tough. In verse 34, Jesus speaks saying that He did not come to bring peace on earth, but a sword. He states that the process of discipleship can bring division (even within the family). The disciples had to be operating by the Spirit in order to first deliver the message, but secondly to trust that people would still stick around after and able to provide for them and receive them warmly.
3. Knowing that persecution would be coming (vs. 16). They would need to be reliant on the Spirit to give them discernment. When enduring trial and tribulation, they would need the Spirit to comfort and encourage them. James 1:2 tells us to count it all joy, when we fall into trials and tribulations. It is certainly not natural to be joyful in the midst of trials; however, the Spirit enables us to glorify God though our trials.
4. When facing governors or kings, we see that the disciples are not to search for clever or manipulative words. Rather, they are told to not worry about what they should say, for it would be given to them, because it is not they who speak, but the Spirit who is speaking through them. (vs. 18-20)
5. Relying on the Spirit of God keeps the disciples in a place where they fear God. They revere, adore and worship Him.
6. The disciples must confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord of all. They do this both verbally and with a purified life through the power of the Holy Spirit.
All of these things must be done according to that power that was given to them by Jesus. I’m thankful that we have that same power working in us today. We can live lives that please the Father through our total dependence on His Spirit. We must yield our every thought and action to Him. Remember what Jesus said in John 15:5, “He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.”We must be men and women who are desperate for the power and authority of the Holy Spirit in our lives.